The reborn Mini Cooper had its North American premiere twenty years ago, and it’s still as sleek and exciting to drive as it was then. Its retro-modern appearance continues to draw attention, and its sporty suspension tuning gives drivers anything to look forward to each time they get behind the wheel. The Cooper, available as a two-door hatchback, four-door hatchback, or convertible, isn’t especially practical, yet it nonetheless appeals to singles and couples. Standard models are driven by a 134-hp turbocharged three-cylinder, but upgrading to an S model gets you a spirited 189-hp turbo four-cylinder with much superior acceleration.
What Is New in 2023?
For the 2023 model year, a new Resolute Edition of the Mini Cooper would be available. Rebel Green paint, frosted bronze exterior trim, yellow-and-cream tweed seat covers, and Resolute Edition door sill guards are all standard. The package is also offered on the convertible model, however, it replaces the white roof and mirror caps of the Hardtop with a black soft top and black mirror caps.
The price of a Mini Cooper will be $27,750.
To enhance the fun-to-drive quotient, we’d go for the manual transmission in the more potent 189-hp Cooper S Hardtop. The five-door Hardtop is somewhat more expensive, but we’d stay with the three-door because neither Mini is particularly spacious. Aside from that, the personalization possibilities are many and appealing, so we’ll leave them up to users.
Performance – Engine, Transmission, and Other
The 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder base engine delivers 134 horsepower, which is more than enough power for this little, light-weight, front-drive car. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged S vehicles, which have 189 horsepower, are what we recommend. The S tested out to be somewhat quicker to 60 mph with the larger engine than with the original 1.5-liter engine, clocking it at 6.2 seconds. Although the automatic transmission shifts nicely, we still prefer the manual because it encourages greater driver involvement. Although the Mini Cooper can be exhilarating to drive because of its strong suspension, the ride can be punishing on bumpy roads.
Fuel efficiency and actual MPG
The entry-level Mini Cooper three-door, five-door, and convertible all have a base three-cylinder engine that achieves the same EPA-estimated fuel efficiency for all versions. We achieved 38 mpg on the three-cylinder engine’s six-speed manual during our 200-mile interstate fuel-economy test route. The EPA rates the Cooper S’s 2.0-liter engine, which is more potent, somewhat lower, with combined fuel economy ratings varying from 27 to 30 mpg depending on the configuration.
Cargo, Comfort, and the Interior
Although the Mini’s interior is pleasantly eccentric, it sacrifices usability. Although there is little room for rear passengers, passengers in the front seats won’t have any cause for complaint. The power top on the convertible type may be folded in 18 seconds, allowing you the delight of limitless headroom. Its little trunk is a shame. Given the hatchback’s compact size, hardtop variants offer slightly more functionality inside. In our testing, the Hardtop model’s trunk only had room for three carry-on luggage. There is room for 12 carry-ons if the back seats are folded down, though. With the rear seats folded down, the five-door Hardtop has more cargo space than the Convertible. The Mini Cooper comes standard with heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel; a leather interior is an option.
Information and connectivity
An 8.8-inch touchscreen display and a digital gauge cluster are standard on all Mini Cooper variants. The entire lineup has SiriusXM satellite radio as standard equipment, but customers who want Apple CarPlay, in-dash navigation, or cordless phone charging must pay extra for those services. There is no Android Auto.
Features for Driver Assistance and Safety
Automated emergency braking is standard on the Mini Cooper, while optional features include adaptive cruise control and park assistance. Visit the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to learn more about Cooper’s crash test results. Important safety elements include:
- Automated emergency braking standards
- Typical lane-departure alert
- Adaptive cruise control is accessible
Coverage for Warranties and Maintenance
Compared to other small-car producers, Mini offers a marginally better warranty, especially with free scheduled maintenance. Similar to Mini, both Volvo and BMW provide free planned maintenance programs.
- 4 years or 50,000 miles are covered by the limited warranty.
- 4 years or 50,000 miles are covered by the powertrain warranty.
- Free regular maintenance is provided for three years or 36,000 miles.